Fulham vs. Everton  2 - 2

Article

Premier League: Fulham 2 Everton 2

3 November 2012 18:14

Steve Sidwell's late equaliser saw Fulham play out a hugely entertaining 2-2 draw with Everton at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

The hosts settled the quicker of the two sides in the English Premier League match and took the lead courtesy of a fantastic free-kick from Bryan Ruiz, which Tim Howard just failed to claw away, the final touch coming off the Everton goalkeeper.

After the break Everton raced out of the traps and they scored two goals in the space of 15 minutes, with Marouane Fellaini grabbing a marvellous double, but Fulham responded with Sidwell's late equaliser.

The deadlock was broken in the seventh minute when Ruiz curled a beautiful free-kick into the top left-hand corner from just outside the box, with Howard turning it onto the post before it trickled over the line, with it then marked down as an own goal.

In a half of few clear-cut chances, aside from a Ruiz effort which blazed over the bar, Nikica Jelavic was the main culprit for Everton, wasting two golden opportunities when he looked well placed, first nodding wide and then clipping an effort over the bar.

The visitors began the second period a lot brighter than the first and they should have levelled the score shortly after the break, with Phil Jagielka's deft header from a Baines free-kick going narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

They did not have to wait much longer for the equaliser, though, when after a flowing move down the right in the 54th minute, Fellaini latched on to Kevin Mirallas' cut-back to smash home unmarked from ten yards out past Mark Schwarzer.

With the game opening up, Dimitar Berbatov brought a smart stop from Howard at his near post after beating the offside trap and latching on to Alexander Kacaniklic's clever pass in behind, before spinning and working the American stopper.

Everton were looking a side transformed from their lacklustre display in the first half and Mirallas curled a strike from inside the box harmlessly past the left-hand post as they sought to press home their advantage.

They turned the game on its head in the 71st minute when Fellaini chested down an angled long ball forward from Jagielka, before out-muscling Hughes and driving it home into the bottom right corner in a piece of individual brilliance.

Fulham threw on Mladen Petric to try and get something from the game, but they were nearly caught out again on the break when Fellaini struck the post before Steven Naismith, on as a substitute, saw his weak effort cleared off the line from Baird.

With the clock ticking down, Fellaini forced a fine save from Schwarzer with a well-struck volley, but Fulham had the final say, with Sidwell tapping home at the back post after a dangerous low cross from the right in the final minute of the game.

Article

Premier League preview: Fulham v Everton

1 November 2012 14:29

European hopefuls Everton travel to Fulham in an important English Premier League clash on Saturday.

David Moyes' Everton have made a fine start to the season, sitting fifth having lost just once in the league.

But three straight draws – including Sunday's 2-2 result at home to Merseyside rivals Liverpool – has seen them fall behind the top three.

Martin Jol's Fulham have shown they know how to find the net, but the problem has been at the other end, highlighted by their 3-3 draw against Reading last time out.

If the west Londoners are unable to improve in defence, Everton's attacking weapons are sure to punish them.

Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic (four goals) and Belgian Marouane Fellaini (three) are a constant threat, while Moyes will regain Steven Pienaar from suspension.

Kevin Mirallas looked dangerous against Liverpool before being substituted at half-time with a foot injury.

In another boost for Everton, the Belgian international is expected to be fit, meaning he should again be causing problems down the left.

Everton were often caught on the counter-attack during the second half against Liverpool and Moyes will want to avoid the same mistakes against a dangerous Fulham attack.

Dimitar Berbatov, Damien Duff and Mladen Petric have all netted three league goals this season for Fulham.

Bulgarian Berbatov may miss the clash against Everton because of a suspected broken rib suffered in the draw against Reading.

Fulham have conceded 14 league goals – more than any other top-10 team – with their defence struggling to keep teams at bay.

Jol will be aware his back four of Sascha Riether, Adam Hughes, Brede Hangeland and John Arne Riise need to do better if Fulham are to compete for a European spot this season.

Draws against Reading and Southampton already shape as being costly, with Fulham – on both occasions – giving up a lead late in the game.

Fulham must start holding onto their leads and they must avoid making the same mistakes against Everton.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25